Millions of people in Canada own a dog and there are many new ones since the start of the 2020 covid pandemic. For many, this is their first time owning any sort of pet. Unfortunately, many new dog owners make mistakes that can be harmful to their dogs and we would like to shed some light on these various issues. In this post, we will cover the 9 most common mistakes made by first-time dog owners. Armed with this information, you can avoid making these costly errors and ensure that your relationship with your new furry friend is a happy and healthy one.
Not Doing Your Research
Dog ownership is an enormous responsibility. From feeding and walking to training and taking them to groom and vet appointments, dogs require a lot of care and attention. But before you bring a furry friend into your home, it’s important to do your research and choose a breed that’s right for you. Each Dog breed has its own unique set of traits, so it’s important to find one that fits your lifestyle. For example, some breeds are more active than others and will need more exercise, while some breeds are prone to certain health conditions.
Once you’ve chosen a breed, the next step is to find a reputable breeder or rescue organization. This will help ensure that your new pet is healthy and safe. Many new dog owners buy puppies online through classified ads and end up getting puppies with no health checkups or paperwork. With a little planning and research, you can find the perfect dog to join your family.
Not Feeding Your Dog Properly
Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their pet is eating a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet. Just like humans, dogs need a variety of nutrients to stay healthy and happy. Dog food should be high in protein and low in fat, and it should contain all the essential vitamins and minerals. Dog owners should also know the potential hazards of certain foods. For example, chocolate can be poisonous to dogs, and some plants can cause stomach upset. By being informed about what to feed their dog, owners can help to keep their pets healthy.
While feeding a homemade meal for your dog may be fresher and healthy, you must consult with their veterinarian to make sure the meal is nutritionally well-balanced. For example, while chicken breast is a significant source of protein, organ meats provide many more nutritional benefits.
Do not feed your dog from your plate. It's difficult to eat your meal without giving them a small bite of your food, but this can lead to bad habits from now on. Once they learn to beg you for food, it will be hard to turn them away. Human food should not be given to dogs regardless due to sugar, fat, and sodium content, which they can not process well like humans.
Giving Them Too Many Treats Too Often
Puppies will usually eat whatever you put in front of them, but treats shouldn’t just be handed out to them for no reason. For dog training, it’s best to save treats for training sessions - that way, the puppy connects a treat with good behavior, and you have a powerful motivation tool, rather than something you offer, for no special reason.
Dog treats are a great way to show your pet some extra love, but it’s important not to overdo it. Treats should only make up 10% or less of their daily caloric intake. Keep in mind that even healthy dog treats should be given in moderation, as part of a balanced diet.
Not Having A Tidy Home
Dogs are often curious creatures that like to put everything in their mouths. This can pose a serious safety hazard, as dogs can choke on small objects or ingest toxic items. Just ask your vet what kind of foreign body surgeries they’ve had to perform in the past. For this reason, it’s important to keep a tidy home and make sure that any garbage is properly disposed of. It’s also a good idea to monitor your dog when they are inside and to supervise them when they are outdoors.
If you need to leave your dog at home for a short period, make sure they are left behind a safety gate that will keep them away from any hazardous items around the home. By taking these simple precautions, you can help to ensure that your pet stays safe and healthy.
Not Having Pet Insurance
Dog ownership is a rewarding experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. One of the most important things you need to do as a dog owner is to put your pet on pet insurance. A lot of new dog owners make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need insurance because their dog is healthy. However, even the healthiest dogs can get sick or injured unexpectedly.
Having insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to worry about how you will pay for your dog’s vet bills if something happens. Vet bills can be very costly, and pet insurance can help to ease the financial burden. In addition, pet insurance can also help to cover the cost of routine care, such as vaccinations and check-ups. As a result, it is an essential part of responsible dog ownership.
Not Playing With Them
A common mistake that new dog owners make is not playing with their dogs enough. While it is important for dogs to get regular exercise, playing with them is also an essential part in taking care of them. Dog toys can help to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated, and playing games with your dog is a great way to bond with them. Dogs are social creatures, and they need interaction with people in order to stay happy and healthy.
Without enough physical activity, dogs can become hyperactive and less obedient. In addition, a lack of play can lead to a decrease in the bond between owner and dog. Dogs that are well-exercised are also less likely to display destructive behaviors, such as chewing on furniture or digging holes in the yard. So, if you’re a new dog owner, be sure to set aside some time each day to play with your furry friend.
Lacking In Socialization With Other Pets and People
Socializing your puppy is important for several reasons. For one, it helps them to become more comfortable in their new environment. Puppies are social creatures and need to learn how to interact with other dogs and people. Socialization will also teach your puppy manners and help them avoid making behavioural mistakes. Having a small group of friends or family members who can help you with this process is ideal. By taking the time to socialize your puppy, you’ll be setting them up for success in the future.
Not Teaching Your Dog Basic Commands and Housebreaking
One of the most common mistakes new pet owners make is failing to properly train their dogs. While it may seem obvious to experienced pet owners, obedience training is a necessity, not an afterthought. All dogs should be taught basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, come, and down. Recall and leash training will come in handy during long walks and can even make it possible for you to have big adventures on hiking trails.
In addition, housebreaking is essential for keeping your home orderly. Unfortunately, many new pet owners wait until their dog has already developed bad habits before beginning training. By then, it is often too late to change the behavior or will require one on one professional training. Proper puppy training is the key to a well-behaved dog. It will take time and patience, but the effort is worth it. An obedience-trained dog is a pleasure to live with and a credit to his owner. Not only that, but your veterinarian, groomer, dog walker, and pet-sitter will appreciate them.
Not Getting Used to Grooming
The last common mistake that new pet owners make is not properly training their puppy to get used to grooming. Puppies are cute when they’re fluffy, but this look can only be maintained with regular grooming and proper at-home maintenance. Many puppies resist grooming because they haven’t been properly introduced to it. It’s important to train your puppy early so that they understand that grooming is a positive experience. Handling your puppy gently all over their body, from their mouth to paws to tail, will help them get used to the process and make it less stressful for both of you. Regular grooming sessions will keep your pup looking and feeling its best.
Owning a new dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes made by novice owners. By following our advice, you can ensure that your furry friend has a happy and healthy start in their new home. And don’t forget–– we offer grooming services to keep your pup looking sharp!
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